Press Esc to close
Monday 23 January 2017
News updated at 1:43 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28.9°C
Min : 15.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Sun shines on Windies, but tough road ahead

Madhu Jawali, Colombo, Oct 8, 2012, DHNS:

Caribbeans need to build on their World T20 win to become a Test power

The West Indies weren’t definitely the popular winners in Sri Lanka on Sunday night. The 35,000 gathered at the R Premadasa Stadium and over 20 million people across the island nation were crestfallen after a familiar tale unfolded – fourth defeat in as many finals – in front of their eyes.

But if there was any other team that the Lankans would have wanted to see lift the trophy, it must be the West Indies.

Just like anywhere else in this small universe of cricket, in Lanka too the Caribbeans are the most loved ones. Though there weren’t many cheers reserved for Darren Sammy and his men during the course of the final, the support for the newest World T20 champions in other matches was so overwhelming that the rival sides might have felt like playing in a packed stadium in the West Indies. Like their national anthem goes, everybody ‘rallies around the West Indies.’

Cheerful nature

There is a something about the West Indian cricketers that instantly connects with those who have maintained even a passing interest in cricket. It could be their flair or it could be their cheerful nature that doesn’t see much fluctuation in victory and defeat, every cricket fan across the world enjoys them doing well just as he was sad at their steady decline from the top.

“The fans rally around the West Indies team,” said Sammy draped in the West Indian flag and swelling with pride on Sunday. “When we left the Caribbean, we said this tournament was for the people. One team representing all the people, and we all had one goal. We played some good cricket and saved our best for the last.”

Much as one would like to believe, to say that their stirring maiden triumph at the World T20 is what the Caribbeans needed to revive their rich cricketing legacy is stretching things a bit too far. The same words were bandied around when they defeated hosts England at The Oval to claim the 2004 ICC Champions Trophy under batting legend Brian Lara.

Things didn’t change much after that victory and if anything they regressed further. They had let go a golden opportunity then to bring cricket back to its glory days.

Emotional statement

In that context, one would hope that Sammy’s weren’t just some emotional statements made during an overwhelming occasion. “This is definitely a step,” remarked the all-rounder while predicting a brighter future for cricket in the Caribbean. “We believe we can win matches. We’re not trying just to compete any more. We believe we can win against good opposition. We showed signs of that in the last year or so, but we were not winning. Hopefully, this can be the start of something good for the West Indies team and the people.”

While the victory has set off a wave of celebrations across the islands of the Caribbean, the task remains in channelling this success into revitalising other forms of cricket. With an army of some of the biggest hitters of the cricket ball, West Indies may be one of the better sides in the T20 format but they are some distance away from being the same force in 50-overs and Test cricket. The longer versions are a different ball game altogether.

“We have some of the most experienced Twenty20 players in our team,” pointed out Sammy.

“Once we play the way we can, we’ll always be a force to reckon with. We didn’t brag about it but we believed we could go out there and take it one game at a time. I said hurdle by hurdle, and today was the final one. The coach said we’re climbing to the top of a mountain, and that’s where the prize is. We’ve got to go and take it. Today, we did that,” he offered.

So, the challenge now is not only in using the opportunity to resuscitate the game itself but also ensuring that the younger generation, already fed on a steady diet of private T20 leagues and the riches of its players appearing in those events, isn’t lost to longer formats. Test cricket hasn’t been the same without the West Indies of the days of yore.

 

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Olympic finalist Gymnast Dipa Karmakar being felicitated with Assames japi,Khoria and gomacha...

Olympic finalist Gymnast Dipa Karmakar being felicitated with Assames japi,Khoria and gomacha...

A boat man carries Hindu devotees in the river Yamuna early in the morning during magh Mela in...

A boat man carries Hindu devotees in the river Yamuna early in the morning during magh Mela in...

Austria's Michael Matt speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom...

Austria's Michael Matt speeds down the course during an alpine ski, men's World Cup slalom...

Punjab tableaux artists pose a photo during a press preview in New Delhi on Sunday...

Punjab tableaux artists pose a photo during a press preview in New Delhi on Sunday...

AIADMK leader SP Velumani inaugurates Cattle race after the urgent law was passed for...

AIADMK leader SP Velumani inaugurates Cattle race after the urgent law was passed for...

Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit and Manish Paul atteded the Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017 in...

Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit and Manish Paul atteded the Umang Mumbai Police Show 2017 in...

Youngstres and Students during the protest to Lift ban on jallikattu and impose ban on PETA...

Youngstres and Students during the protest to Lift ban on jallikattu and impose ban on PETA...

India Captain Virat Kohli celebrate after his 50 runs during 3rd ODI against England at Eden...

India Captain Virat Kohli celebrate after his 50 runs during 3rd ODI against England at Eden...

Rescue and relief work in progress at the site where Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express train derailed...

Rescue and relief work in progress at the site where Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Express train derailed...

Samajwadi Party Vice president Kiranmoy Nanda, SP state president Naresh Utam and Congress state...

Samajwadi Party Vice president Kiranmoy Nanda, SP state president Naresh Utam and Congress state...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523